By Kenny Romero
We are well into Summer and the fly fishing at Spinney Mountain reservoir has been outstanding! Thanks to excellent mountain snowpack from this past Winter and Spring, the reservoir is 100% full. In-flows are 92 cfs and outflows to the Dream Stream are 150 cfs. I have not seen this much water in Spinney in years. The entire North Bay area is full and fish have spread out all over the reservoir. The South Bay, Buffalo Bay, and North parking lots are all fishing well!
The weed beds are developed and the insects that live there are active and moving. The caddis, callibaetis and damsel fly hatches are in full swing and the fish are on the feed bag!
Mobility is key when fishing Spinney in the Summer and Fall months. A float tube, pontoon boat, or motor boat will get you to where the fish are. During the Spring, fish are hugging the shore lines and mobility isn’t as critical. But come the end of May most of the big cruisers have moved out into other parts of the lake. And wherever the weeds grow is where you’ll find fish. Don’t overlook the shallow flats of Spinney, either. Many large fish cruise these areas during a hatch looking for an easy caddis, callibaetis, beetle or hopper meal. Dropping a callibaetis nymph behind a #10 Hopper Juan or Amy’s Ant is a good double threat.
Although subsurface Stillwater fly fishing is day in and day out the most productive type of fly fishing at Spinney (dropping a series of Chironomid and may fly nymphs – bird’s nest, pheasant tails, hare’s ears, and various callibaetis patterns), dry fly fishing is often overlooked. During the summer months, dry fly fishing can be the most productive strategy. There’s nothing like a 22” Rainbow “exploding” into the air as it attacks a #14 Elk Hair Caddis or # 18 Parachute Adams!
During July of this year, I’ve caught more fish on dry flies than nymphs and wooly buggers combined. However, the go -o nymph this month has been a green or brown damsel fly stripped at various retrieval speeds with intermediate type II sinking line. Sink tip lines also work well. Again, look for weed beds to strip through. I haven’t seen much snail activity yet, but that should be picking up in the next couple of weeks. Angler’s Covey sells an excellent snail pattern, the “Znail” developed by Covey guide, Zach Tokach.
Look for my Fall update as I’ll discuss various Fall techniques that that are much different than Spring or Summer techniques but that have proven successful for many seasons at Spinney.
Please visit the shop for all of your Stillwater fly fishing needs, from float tubes to sinking lines to all the right flies, the Covey has it all! And, contact the Shop if you are interested in a guided float tube trip at Spinney!
Read more about Angler's Covey guide, Kenny Romero, here.
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Women's Fly Tying class series: Class 3, Advanced tying techniques, Dry flies